Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Warm and Delicious Thai Portobello Tortellini Bisque

Many thanks go to the wonderful folks who made the book launch party for Superb Maine Soups happen. Adele Gale made this Thai inspired soup that was a huge hit! Now you can make it for your family- it warms the throat, fills the belly and causes the yummy noise. My Favorite sound!
East meets West in this spicy, creamy, full-flavored soup. Portobello mushrooms and crabmeat are favored tortellini fillings, but if you have a different one you love, use it in this soup.
Serves 4

1 shallot, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 t curry powder
2 T minced garlic
1 T olive oil
1 large portobello mushroom cap, thinly sliced
1⁄2 t coriander
1 T sambal oelek (chili paste; see page 000)
2 c full-flavored chicken stock
1 can coconut milk (Be sure to use unsweetened coconut milk—not cream of coconut.)
1 9-oz package refrigerated mushroom- or crabmeat-filled tortellini
1 T fresh basil, snipped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 c heavy cream

In a medium saucepan, cook the shallot, jalapeño pepper, curry powder, and garlic in olive oil about 1 minute, until the shallot is tender. Add the portobello and coriander, and cook 2 more minutes. Stir in the sambal oelek and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk, tortellini, and basil. Cook and stir about 5 minutes more, or until the pasta is tender but still firm. Stir in the tomato and cream and cook until the soup is heated through; do not boil. Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Baked Brie with Dried Cherries and Maple Sugar

Be careful with this one! If you serve it to hungry guests as an appetizer they might not leave room for dinner. Its outstanding with a soup and salad for a delicious meal.
6” wheel of brie
1 sheet of puff pastry at room temperature
1/2 c dried cherries
2 T crumbled maple sugar
1/2 c rough chopped pecans or pinenuts (optional)
Place a piece of waxed paper or parchment on your work surface.
Unwrap and unfold your puff pastry sheet. Press any cracks to seal pastry into a whole sheet.
Sprinkle the maple sugar in the center of the pastry and smooth out to the size of the wheel of brie.
Mound the dried cherries and pecans on top of the sugar.
Gently place the brie upside down on top of the fruit and nuts.
One by one carefully pull the corners of the puff pastry up onto the brie. Use a touch of water when you place the pastry corners on top of each other to seal. After the four corners are touching- encasing the cheese- trim the four sides if you need, so they will not be too bulky. Save the trimmings. Now carefully pull the sides down to fully encase the brie.
Use the trimmings to decorate the top. You can slice long thin triangles and roll them up from one point. Dab a bit of water on the top of the brie with your finger and gently press your decorations on.
Bake in a 400’ oven according to the puff pastry package directions. 30 minutes is usually enough. Bake until golden brown.
Serve with a knife and crackers or bread rounds.